Essay on The Goals Of Police Interrogation

Essay on The Goals Of Police Interrogation

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One of the main goals of police interrogation is to obtain a confession from a suspect in order to increase the likelihood of a conviction during the trial proceedings. However, confessions may not be truthful. Larmour, Bergstrom, Gillen & Forth (2014) found that a false confession was given as evidence in sixteen percent of wrongful convictions. Within that sixteen percent, twenty-two percent of those individuals were sentenced to death. Why do individuals confess to crimes that they did not commit?
There was research done by Henkel, Coffman & Dailey (2008), where surveys were distributed to individuals. These surveys asked participants to express their views, beliefs and attitudes towards false confessions. Henkel et al. believed that people’s feelings about false confessions played a huge role within the courtroom and the jury. If a juror has a bias towards or against false confessions then their judgment will be impaired during a trial where this information is presented. The results of this study showed that people possess an awareness that false confessions do happen and that a confession should not be taken as an absolute indicator of guilt. The results also showed that many people do not understand how or why false confessions are given. Because of this, research has been done to get to explain why and how false confessions occur.
There are several variables that contributed to falsely confessing to a crime. First, the type of individual confessing has to be examined. Why do some individuals feel that the easiest way to remove themselves from a situation is to falsely confess? According to Larmour at el. (2014) neuroticism and extraversion are two personality traits that have been associated with compliance and false co...


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...there has been research done about why and how false confessions are given, there has been little research done about how to improve this act. Research has shown that the period when false confessions occur is called the “Decision Zone”. This is a brief or prolonged period after the officer has read a suspect his rights but before the suspect has decided whether to waive or to invoke those rights (Morris, 2008). Morris argued that no such interrogation should take place within this zone. It has also been shown that most false confessions are given when the interrogator beginning questions in the decision zone. Because we know this information the criminal justice system should take it and fix this problem. Getting a confession out of a suspect may be there top priority as previously stated, but the confession should be given without any threats and without coercion.

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